Learn about the importance of studying and researching atmospheric extremes and space suit safety. In this video you will also see some satellite images of California and San Gabriel mountain.
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Studying and Researching Atmospheric Extremes The truth from earth to space and back again is a journey through an environment of extreme pressures and temperatures. The job of simulating those extremes, and of testing materials to safe guard space travelers from them is done here at the atmospheric and reentering materials and structures tests facility. Inside of the facility’s 2 thermal vacuum chambers, technicians can achieve the same atmospheric compositions and thermal conditions of any known planets. The ability to produce atmospheric extreme such as temperatures up to 4000ºF allows technicians to subject potential spacecraft materials to realistic stresses. The hazardous conditions simulated are not the only paroles of space flight. Technicians study a completely different danger confronting those who venture into orbit especially those who leave the spacecraft. Although space walking astronauts look as though they are barely moving through space, they are actually traveling at more than 17,500 miles per hour. At velocities like this, micrometeoroids and tiny bits of space debris could pass through a space suit like a bullet if precautions were not taken. To determine if a material can provide the necessary level of protection it must be subjected to rigorous impact testing and that’s done here at the hypervelocity impact research laboratory. The facility’s three light gas guns are capable of accelerating projectiles ranging in size from 300 microns to 3/8 of an inch at velocities about to 4 ½ miles per second. The height of velocity impact research laboratory is instrumental in the design of shielding systems for NASA’s spacecraft like space station freedom. This computer simulation of a high speed flight across the Los Angeles facility was produced to demonstrate a capability of scientific data visualization used in interplanetary exploration. The entire animation was produced from one land set satellite image from 950 kilometers that was merged with digital elevation information. This is Los Angeles, California and we’re traveling towards the pacific ocean at about 300,000 kilometers per hour and we’ll drop behind Santa Catalina Island about 40 kilometers of the coast of Los Angeles. We’re flying over the island and then we’ll cross the coast north for the Santa Monica Mountains. As we head south, we can see features like Marina Del Ray and LA International Airport. This is the Long Beach Harbor and now the orange county area. The boat’s eye features are Balboa and Lido Islands on Newport Bay. In the center screen is down town LA. And now we are over Hollywood and Beverly Hills as we move into the San Fernando Valley. You’ll see a V shaped lake appear, that’s Castaic lake. We will now turn and fly directly down the Riff Valley at the San Andreas fault. We’re crossing the east fort of the San Gabriela Mountains and we’ll turn around and face those same mountains when we loose elevation into the Pomona Valley area. In its bright screen is Mt. Boulder and as we pan the San Gabriel Mountains, we can note in the four ground the Santa Fe dam and recreation area. The Santa Anita race track and golf course. And that little white donut is the Rose Bowl.

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